Color Education for the 21st Century

It's time to redesign how color is taught from the ground up.

Kids deserve a color curriculum that is:

Introducing

Color Explorers in the Classroom

 

Color Explorers in the Classroom is an educational initiative to empower creativity by providing affordable, fun and easy ways for kids (and adults!) to explore the art and science of color in the 21st Century.

How can you transform your classroom into a Color Explorer Classroom?

It's as easy as 1 - 2 - 3!

 

1

Expand Rainbow Colors

 A photo taken through diffraction grating shows the two ends of the spectrum overlapping. Magenta appears when red light blends with blue light.

 A photo taken through diffraction grating shows the two ends of the spectrum overlapping. Magenta appears when red light blends with blue light.

Step One is to expand the six traditional rainbow colors - Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue and Violet - usually available in the classroom to a minimum of nine colors that include Primary Cyan, Primary Magenta and Lime (Yellow Green). 
We call this expanded set of colors the "New Nine". 

Why add more three more colors to the basic set of rainbow colors in the classroom?

The rainbow colors of ROYGBIV do not include the purples and magentas we see when the red end of the spectrum overlaps the blue end of the spectrum. Lime fills the big gap between green and yellow.

Kids learn best by open ended explorations. Before teaching color mixing, step back and just let them play with this set of new colors in the classroom. 

More colors = more fun!   

 
2

Mix Colors with CMY

 Playing with Cyan-Magenta-Yellow  makes kids happy!  

 Playing with Cyan-Magenta-Yellow  makes kids happy!
 

Step Two encourages kids to explore color mixing using Cyan-Magenta-Yellow (CMY) instead of the traditional Red-Yellow-Blue (RYB) colors.

Why mix colors with CMY instead of RYB?

Although CMY primaries are most often associated with the CMYK system of printing in ink, they also work in paints, dyes, pencils, and crayons.

Cyan + Magenta = Blues, Violets and Purples.
Magenta + Yellow = Reds and Oranges
Yellow + Cyan = Turquoises, Greens and Limes

Mixing two colors together with CMY produces bright colors, so kids feel a sense of accomplishment instead of feeling frustrated when they try to mix two colors using RYB and often make muddy colors.

Confidence in mixing colors can help empower kids to be more creative and expressive in the classroom.

 

3

Combine Science and Art

Playing with prisms in the Vibe of Portland art studio. Vibe of Portland is the non-profit partner for testing the Color Explorers curriculum and materials.

Playing with prisms in the Vibe of Portland art studio. Vibe of Portland is the non-profit partner for testing the Color Explorers curriculum and materials.

 Step Three introduces kids to the concept of color as light. Encourage kids to play with color using prisms and computers as well as traditional art media. Color mixing experiments are done in both light and paint.

Why introduce the science of color at such an early age?

Children are starting to use computers at a very early age and have more and more opportunities to use digital color creatively in the classroom. 

Color explorations bridge between science and art.

Color explorations fit naturally into both STEM and STEAM programs. 

It's time to bring color education into the 21st Century!
 

Color Explorers in the Classroom
Development Timeline

*Annual Convention of the
National Art Education Association (NAEA)
March 22-24, 2018 in Seattle, Washington, USA